This week in Twins history includes great games by Geoff Zahn, Kevin Tapani, Jack Kralick, Ken Landreaux, Tim Laudner, Paul Molitor, Greg Myers, Jim Kaat, Camilo Pascual, Harmon Killebrew, Scott Erickson, Mickey Hatcher, Luke Hughes, and Billy Beane. This week's Almanac also includes Minnesotan major leaguers Charley Bender, Lou Galvin, Russ Ford, Fred Bruckbauer, and Hack Spencer.
April 22, 1961
First Walk-Off in Twins History
In just the second home game in team history, the Twins and new expansion Senators played to a 4-4 tie through nine. With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the tenth, Zoilo Versalles
drove in Earl Battey
with a sac fly to center for the first walk-off win in Twins history, improving to 6-2 on the season.
April 22, 1980
Eighty-Nine-Degree Home Opener
After the Twins began the season with a 12-game west coast road trip, they returned to Bloomington for a balmy 89-degree home opener against the Angels.Geoff Zahn
allowed just one run on six hits over nine innings. Hosken Powell
, Ron Jackson
, and Roy Smalley
each homered in the 8-1 Twins win.
April 22, 1986
Tapani Pitches No-Hitter
Central Michigan University senior Kevin Tapani
pitches a no-hitter at Eastern Michigan for a 10-0 win the second game of a Tuesday doubleheader. Central Michigan would go on to win their third-straight MAC title.
Tapani was a walk-on at Central Michigan. His high school in Escanaba, MI did not have baseball team, although he was a state champion quarterback.
April 22, 1988Bert Blyleven
Twins Day Goes From Bad to Worse
gives up seven runs on nine hits and four hit batters in just 4.2 innings. Four of those runs came on a grand slam by Cleveland right fielder Cory Snyder. Center fielder Joe Carter added a grand slam of his own off Keith Atherton
in the 11-6 Cleveland win.
To add insult to injury, after the game the Twins traded Tom Brunansky
to the Cardinals for clubhouse cancer Tommy
April 23, 1863Lou Galvin
Birthdate of Lou Galvin
was born in St. Paul
on this date in 1863. He went 0-2 in three starts with the 1884 St. Paul White Caps
of the Union Association (generally considered a major league).
April 23, 1961
Pitcher Kralick Delivers Twins’ Only RBI
In the final game of the Twins’ first-ever home series, Jack Kralick
pitches a four-hit shutout and drives in Billy Gardner
in the fifth for the Twins’ only run in a 1-0 win over the new expansion Senators. The Twins improved to 7-2 on the season.
April 23, 1980Ken Landreaux
Landreaux Begins Record Streak
begins his team record 31-game hitting streak by breaking up Angels pitcher Bruce Kison’s no-hitter with a one-out double in the ninth. California held on to win 17-0.
April 24, 1988Tim Laudner
hits three-run home runs in both the third and fourth innings as the Twins beat Cleveland 13-7.
April 24, 1996
Five-RBI Game for Molitor and Myers
Twins DH Paul Molitor
and catcher Greg Myers
collect five RBI each in a 24-11 Twins win at Tiger Stadium.
Molitor went 2-for-5 with a home run, walk, reached on two fielder’s choices, and scored five runs. Myers went 5-for-6 with three runs scored.
The Twins jumped out to a 6-1 lead after two innings, but had used three pitchers by the end of the third, and trailed 10-7 at the end of four innings. But they kept adding on, outscoring the Tigers 17-1 over the final five innings. They scored in every inning except the fourth.
April 25, 1883Minneapolis Central
Birthdate of Russ Ford
alumnus and seven-year major leaguer Russ Ford
was born in Brandon, Manitoba on this date in 1883. The Ford family immigrated to the United States when Russell was three years old, eventually settling in Minneapolis
At age 27, Ford had one of the all-time great rookie seasons in baseball history with the New York Highlanders in 1910, going 26-6 with a 1.65 ERA and 0.881 WHIP. He won 22 games in 1911, for a total of 48 in his first two full seasons. He won 99 major league games altogether, pitching for the New York Highlanders/Yankees, and Buffalo Buffeds/Blues from 1909 to 1915.Read T. Kent Morgan and David Jones‘ SABR BioProject biography of Russ Ford.
April 25, 1885Hack Spencer
Birthdate of Hack Spencer
was born in St. Cloud
on this date in 1885. He grew up in the Minneapolis
area. He made his one and only major league appearance for the St. Louis Browns on April 18, 1912, allowing two runs on two hits in the final 1 2/3 innings of a 12-7 loss to the Chicago White Sox.Read Bob Tholkes‘ SABR BioProject biography of Hack Spencer.
April 25, 1961
Fred Bruckbauer Has Career ERA of Infinity
With the Twins trailing 7-2 after three in Kansas City, 22-year-old St. Mary’s High School
) graduate Fred Bruckbauer
makes his major league debut, giving up three runs on three hits and a walk before being pulled without recording an out. The Twins went on to lose 20-2.
Unfortunately, this was Bruckbauer’s only major league appearance, making his career ERA infinity.
Fred Bruckbauer was born in New Ulm. New Ulm native Doc Hamann
also had a career ERA of infinity, giving up six runs without recording an out in his only major league appearance with Cleveland on September 21, 1922.
April 25, 1971Jim Kaat
pitches a two-hit shutout for a 8-0 Twins win at Yankee Stadium.
April 25–29, 1985Kirby Puckett
Twins Sweep A’s
hits a walk-off single on Thursday, Tom Brunansky
hits a walk-off home run on Friday, and Mickey Hatcher
strings together nine consecutive hits between Saturday and Sunday in a four-game series sweep of the Athletics.
April 25, 1989
Molitor Has 2-HR Game vs. Twins
1974 Cretin High School
graduate and Golden Gophers
all-time great Paul Molitor
homers on Twins starter Roy Smith
’s second pitch of the game, and reliever German Gonzalez
’s first pitch of the eighth inning. The Brewers won 10-4 for the first of Bryan Clutterbuck’s two major league wins.
April 26, 1986
Dome Deflates, Twins Collapse
With the Twins beating the Angels 5-1 in the bottom of the eighth on a stormy night in Minneapolis, a tear causes the Metrodome roof to deflate. The L.A. Times
described the scene, with “80-m.p.h. winds tearing holes in the fiberglass dome and whipping through the stadium, sending speakers and light standards swaying on their cables like yo-yos in a wind tunnel… Above the third base line, a geyser of water shot through a drainage hole in the roof, dousing a handful of spectators.” Remarkably, the roof was re-inflated with the game only being delayed nine minutes. The Twins went on to score once more in the eighth, with Mickey Hatcher
driving in Steve Lombardozzi
with a sacrifice fly for a 6-1 lead going into the ninth.Frank Viola
gave up a leadoff double to Brian Downing and a two-run home run to George Hendrick before giving way to closer Ron Davis
, still up 6-3. Davis gave up a single and two-run home run to the first two men he faced. With one out he walked pinch-hitter Reggie Jackson, representing the tying run. After striking out Bobby Grich for the second out, Ron Davis gave up a go-ahead, two-run homer to Wally Joyner, who had made his major league debut less than three weeks earlier. Tom Brunansky
, Roy Smalley
, and Gary Gaetti
went down in order in the bottom of the ninth for a 7-6 Twins loss.
April 27, 1903
Bender Pitches First Shutout
After earning a win over Boston’s Cy Young in his major league debut, 19-year-old Crow Wing County
native Charles Albert Bender
makes his first start, pitching a shutout versus the New York Highlanders, opposing Hall of Fame pitcher Clark Griffith, the father of former Twins owner Calvin Griffith
. Bender became the first Minnesotan inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1953.
April 27, 1965
Pascual Hits Second Grand Slam
Before even climbing the mound, Camilo Pascual
hits the only grand slam by a pitcher in Twins history, staking himself to a 7-0 first-inning lead in Cleveland. He went on to pitch a heckuva game, allowing just two hits and two walks in an 11-1 Twins win.
Pascual hit his first grand slam in the Senators’ final season in Washington, on August 14, 1960 in a 5-4 win in the first game of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium. The Senators won the second game 6-3 in 15 innings.
April 27, 1969
Killebrew Hits 400th
With two out in the top of the first of an afternoon game in Chicago, Harmon Killebrew
hits his 400th career home run. Rod Carew
hit a two-run homer in the seventh to give the Twins a 4-3 win.
This was a fun boxscore to read. The top of the Twins lineup that afternoon went Tovar, Carew, Killebrew, Oliva, Alison.
All told, Killebrew hit 573 home runs, fifth-most in baseball history at the time of his retirement. He hit 84 as a member of the Washington Senators, 14 as a Kansas City Royal in 1975, and 475 in a Twins uniform.
April 27, 1994Scott Erickson
Erickson Pitches No-Hitter
pitches the first no-hitter in Metrodome history as the Twins beat the Brewers 5-0. It is the third of five no-hitters in Twins history, and the first since Dean Chance
Erickson, who had led the American League with 20 wins and finished second in Cy Young balloting in 1991, was coming off a ‘93 season in which he led the league with 19 losses and 266 hits allowed.
April 28, 1985Mickey Hatcher
Hatcher Ties Oliva’s Consecutive Hits Record
goes 4-for-5 in a 10-1 Twins win over the Athletics at the Metrodome. He had gone 5-for-5 the previous day, giving him nine consecutive hits, tying Tony Oliva
‘s team record set in 1967. Todd Walker
matched the feat in 1998.
April 28, 2010
Hughes Homers in First At-Bat
Leading off the top of the third, Australia native Luke Hughes
lifts Max Scherzer’s 2-2 pitch to right for an opposite field home run in his first major league at-bat.
Hughes had originally come up to bat in the second, but Delmon Young
was thrown out attempting to steal third for the third out of the inning. The Tigers won the game 11-6.
Six Twins have homered in their first major league at-bat: Rick Renick
, Dave McKay
, Gary Gaetti
, Andre David
, Hughes, and Eddie Rosario
Between August 26 and September 20, 1981, Kent Hrbek
, Tim Laudner
, and Gary Gaetti
each homered in their first major league game.
April 29, 1962
Twins Hit Six Solo Home Runs
The Twins hit six solo home runs in the second game of a doubleheader in Cleveland. Lenny Green
, Don Mincher
, Zoilo Versalles
, and Bill Tuttle
hit one each, and Johnny Goryl
hit two. The Twins scored in each inning except the third and ninth in the 7-3 win.
The Twins did not hit a home run in the first game, which they won 8-4.
April 29, 1986
Beane Goes 5-for-5
After going 3-for-21 in his first 17 major league games (four with the Twins), Billy Beane
goes 5-for-5, including his first home run, in a 14-11 Twins loss at Yankee Stadium.
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